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Target Test Prep vs Princeton Review GMAT
Our in-depth review of how the GMAT prep courses from TTP and Princeton Review stack up
When it comes to the GMAT, you don’t want to mess around. Your score on this business school entrance exam can have major implications on your applications, and as such, you need to pick a prep course that is effective and fits your learning style. In this guide, we compare two of the most popular GMAT prep options on the market – Target Test Prep and Princeton Review. See which is better for you in this comprehensive post.
In terms of the high level features and study materials that each company provides, the two companies are actually pretty similar. Both provide video lessons, a guided study schedule, practice problems, study notes, full-length practice tests, and more.
Honestly, just looking at the list of stuff you get, these two GMAT courses look fairly close. However, when you dig in to the details and actually use the programs, there are definitely some differences in how these companies deliver their courses.
And I think those are probably best explained by looking at where each company wins over one another, so let’s begin with Princeton Review.
Volume of Study Material
The one biggest difference between Target Test Prep and Princeton Review that must be referenced at the outset is the sheer quantity of study materials and coursework that Princeton provides.
Simply put, the Princeton Review course is much more robust than TTP’s course, and offers more in terms of quantity than Target Test Prep in almost every category (Kaplan does as well). Let us consider the list:
Full-length practice tests: Princeton Review gives you 10, Target Test Prep gives you 2.
Video lessons: Princeton provides over 50 hours of video content, Target Test Prep gives you more like 30 or 40 hours.
Prep books: Princeton Review gives you books, Target Test Prep does not.
Live instruction: Princeton Review has live online classes, Target Test Prep does not.
You get the picture. The slate of materials and features you get with Princeton Review is just so much more comprehensive and deep.
My second notable callout for Princeton Review has to do with video content. While Target Test Prep makes a big deal about offering hundreds of short video lessons, the reality is that they are all just problem breakdowns.
Rather than offering video-based instruction that covers content review and teaches you how to attack different problem types from a strategy perspective, TTP lets their written lessons do the work.
That’s fine and all, and their problem video breakdowns are useful, but Princeton Review actually has dozens of hours of video lessons that provide content refreshers and test taking strategies. To me, as a visual learner, this is a huge value add for Princeton Review.
More GMAT Practice Exams
The third advantage favoring Princeton is practice tests. As noted above, Princeton Review gives you 10 computer adaptive practice tests, while Target Test Prep only gives you two.
Yes, you read that correctly. You get five times as many practice tests with Princeton Review, which is huge deal, especially when you’re talking about numbers in the single digits.
But it’s not even just the quantity – we also liked Princeton Reviews’ mock exams themselves better. We found Princeton Reviews’ tests to closely mimic the actual exam in terms of interface, as well as question difficulty, length and content (the Kaplan GMAT practice tests do as well).
They are simply a dead ringer for the real thing. So the fact that you get 10 highly realistic practice tests is a big deal.
Live GMAT Classes
The last win for Princeton Review here is live instruction. I’m not sure if you’re looking for live classes or not, but if you are, Princeton Review is going to be your only option.
TTP just doesn’t offer live classes or instruction. However, that point aside, I do want to make clear that Princeton’s classes are good. I thought they were very worthwhile.
The instructor I had was great, and the classes added a ton of structure and depth to the course through the regular meetings and custom homework assignments in between. Princeton is a solid option if you’ve considered live classes at all.
Reasons To Choose Target Test Prep Over Princeton Review
Knowing now the categories where Princeton Review wins, let’s flip the script and talk about where Target Test Prep wins.
Excellent Course Design
The first big highlight with Target Test Prep is the design of their self-paced course. They structure their GMAT study material into 47 highly streamlined and digestible learning modules which they call “missions.”
Each mission is built around a series of quick reviews from previous modules, lessons (mostly text-based), then a chapter test, and a quick recap. By organizing the course this way, it just feels more structured and provides some serious guidance.
Overall, it has got a great flow and it’s easy to keep track of your progress and performance as you roll through the course.
Superb Performance Analytics
The other clear highlight for TTP is their performance analytics. They are simply fantastic.
Target Test Prep provides some of the most in-depth and useful performance data that I’ve seen across any prep course. They zero in on your behavioral tendencies, last-second answer changing habits, and specific weak spots.
It’s great analysis, and can make a real impact in terms of improving your score based on actionable takeaways.
Video-Based Problem Explanations
The final factor in Target Test Prep’s corner is their problem explanations. For a massive number of their practice problems, TTP provides a quick video breakdown (Magoosh does as well). Again, this relates back to the video content I discussed above.
Target Test Prep doesn’t provide much in the way of hard content-based videos, but they do have hundreds of short videos showing how to solve problems. For visual learners, I think this is a big advantage as you review practice sets and mock exams.
Princeton Review has some video breakdowns of problems, but not anywhere near as many as TTP. So while I would like to see Target Test Prep add some more videos as part of their primary instruction, the problem-based videos are awesome for reviewing.
Let’s start this comparison off by discussing pricing, as this is probably the biggest difference between these two companies and why choosing between them is so hard. As you know, there is just a big cost disparity.
In terms of options, Target Test Prep has three packages to choose from. They offer a monthly flex package that runs for around $180/month, as well as two one-time purchase options that cost around $550 or $600.
Those two options give you either 4 or 6 months of access, respectively.
Then on the flip side, you’ve got Princeton Review, which has three primary plans to choose from: a self-paced course that costs $800; a live online package called their “Fundamentals” course which costs $1,400; and a GMAT 700+ course, which as the name implies, guarantees a score of at least 700. That package costs $2,000.
So clearly Target Test Prep is cheaper by at least $200, and potentially a lot more, depending on which package you go with. Both companies also offer GMAT tutoring packages as well in case you need personal one-on-one tutoring.
However, I will note that those prices are a little deceiving, as those are just the full retail prices on their websites, and both Target Test Prep and Princeton Review regularly run sales and special promotions.
Verdict: Princeton Review vs Target Test Prep GMAT
With the detail done, let’s get to the final verdict. Should you choose Princeton Review or Target Test Prep for your GMAT prep?
Personally, after using and evaluating both of these courses, I think Princeton Review is the better overall course.
They offer deeper resources; their video lessons are a major advantage; the fact that they offer 10- full-length practice tests is a big deal; their live classes are rock solid; and I actually really like the hardcopy prep books you get with their course as well.
Obviously, Target Test Prep is a solid course in its own right and you have to balance the pros in Princeton Review’s column against Target Test Prep’s cheaper price point, but overall, with all else being equal, I would go with Princeton Review.
What's the difference between Target Test Prep and Princeton Review for GMAT prep?
One of the main differences between Target Test Prep and Princeton Review is that Target Test Prep focuses exclusively on self-paced online courses, while Princeton Review offers live classes and hardcopy books. But even just comparing on-demand packages, Princeton offers a much higher quantity of coursework.
Which is better for GMAT prep, Princeton Review or Target Test Prep?
After thoroughly using and testing out each GMAT prep course, our team feels that Princeton Review’s prep package is superior to TTP’s. True that Target Test Prep offers a more attractive price point, but the Princeton study materials are much more comprehensive.
Which course is more affordable - Target Test Prep or Princeton Review GMAT?
Target Test Prep’s GMAT courses are much more affordable than the packages from Princeton Review. At roughly one-half the cost, Target Test Prep offers the better value.